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What Tank Simulations did you play before SB

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How many of you guys played Tank type simulations/games before transitioning to SB.

At what was your favourite/s

For me it was the M1 tank platoon/ M1TP2 series I enjoyed the most before SB came along.

I am fairly confident I have played nearly every commercially available Tank sim /game released in the last twenty years or so. or ( at least a demo of it)

Some had good game play good features others were total pants the thing about tank sims with a few exceptions once released they did not get supported

i-M1A1 was a good example had the making of a good tank sim back in the day but was buggy. the follow up i-panzer 44 was worse

Its funny in a way i was used to swatting opfor tanks like flies completing every mission and campaign with relative ease.

But that was becoming an issue for me it they lacked challenge.

Then came the day i found the SB demo in a flight magazine of all things i have never had to worry about it lacking a challenge. LoL

 

 

 

 

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T-72 Balkans on Fire - Good simulation I thought and fun with Multi-crew MP network play.

 

T-34 vs Tiger - good simulation, but only T-34/85 and Tiger I vehicles.   MP network play available but never worked and no developer release of any patches.  Single player has only 6 (or 7?) linked scenarios in a campaign.  Same missions played for each vehicle (e.g. play through 6 missions as Tiger I and play through same 6 missions but in T-34/85 from other side).

 

Steel Fury - Kharkov 1942 - good single player only tank game  (including UK-supplied Soviet Matilda II) set around Kharkov in 1942.

 

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In chronological order...

 

First I had "Steel Thunder", but I don't know if that really qualifies as a simulator, or more of a tank inspired arcade game.  Better sims came out after it but I had many interests, little money, and an old computer, so I missed many of them because I couldn't afford them, couldn't play them, or in many cases didn't know they existed.  Seems to be a sort of niche market...

 

The next tank sim/game I had was Panzer Elite.  I know it was released in 1999, but I didn't get my hands on a copy of it until sometime later, probably 2002 or 2003.

About that time I got the original Steel Beasts as well.  I wound up not having the funds or PC for Pro PE for a while, so I set out in search of a good substitute...

 

I then got a copy of Panzer Commander probably around 2004-2005, which was horribly outdated at that point, and struggled to get it running.

Had some good fun with it, but frequently felt like I bumped into missions where there simply wasn't any cover and the inevitable outcome was that I got smashed up on open terrain by superior enemy vehicles, unless I just made myself invulnerable.

 

I got a copy of T-72 Balkans On Fire, didn't care for it as I found the interface and controls clunky among other issues.

I tried T34 vs Tiger, and hated the horrible controls and interface so much I uninstalled after one mission in the Tiger.

 

I tried playing Steel Fury - Kharkov 1942, and did a few (maybe 3) missions in the Panzer-IV F2.  I found it to be buggy (in some Russian vehicles my crew would stop, get out, and work on the tracks for no apparent reason), and again to have a horrible interface (no gun sight at all in the Panzer IV) and controls.  I felt like in some of the missions I was little more than an observer, who didn't need to do anything to win the mission and had to charge ahead at full speed to even get a chance to shoot at something, while in other missions I felt like I had to do all the work alone.

 

That seems to be a running theme, I don't know why but it seems like simulators and programs made by Russian companies annoy me because the layout is so damn strange.

 

At some point I got copies of M1 Tank Platoon 2, which I had a hard time getting to run on my system and just didn't really care for, and Armored Fist 3 which never ran on my system.  I got gifted various tank themed arcade games from family, like the SNES "Super Battletank", "Battle Tanx" for the N64...But...Yhea...Those were really just first person shooter type games with a tank theme...

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For me:

 

Steel Thunder

 

M1Tank platoon 2

 

Armored fist

 

That pretty much it, then found steel beasts and after that couldn't play the others anymore

 

 

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I played T-72 Balkans on Fire. The setting is unique, but the gameplay didn't quite do it for me. Too much emphasis on being the lone tank on the battlefield. 

 

I played Armored Fist 3 back when I was a lot younger, but I only had the demo, and knew pretty much nothing about tanks. I'm pretty sure I was engaging targets at about 300 meters away... 

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5 hours ago, Mirzayev said:

I played T-72 Balkans on Fire. The setting is unique, but the gameplay didn't quite do it for me. Too much emphasis on being the lone tank on the battlefield. 

 

That's part of a larger trend that I'm about to turn into a big long rant...

 

The truth is that modern society seems to stress "everyone is special!" beyond "everyone needs to fit in to society and be normal, because although your contribution is likely to be important, you'll probably never do anything noteworthy and just be another nobody a hundred years after you die"...Which is actually the truth...

 

If you look at modern first person shooter games, single player game-play is almost like an action movie that the viewer participates in.  The player is either a lone hero accomplishing incredible feat after incredible feat, or one member of a very small team accomplishing incredible feat after incredible feat...  Point is, the player is a hero.

 

There aren't many first person shooters where you play the role of the assistant gunner in an MG team, and your major contribution to the battle is to keep reloading the HMG while the gunner puts down suppressive fire on a building for a few minutes while a whole mob of dudes with rifles and grenades get up close and then pounce on the enemy, whom they massively out number...Noooooo!  Are there any games where you play the role of a field kitchen cook in the Soviet army, helping to defeat the Nazis by keeping your troops well fed with bowls of hot borscht and loaves of delicious bread?  HELL NO!

 

They're all about you being some super snake eater NAVY Seal Delta Force Airborne Ranger and eliminating an entire enemy division single handed, or maybe with your group of half a dozen super bad-asses!  You can't be the Super Action Tank Hero if you're part of a whole company attacking the enemy.  Then you have to share the glory!

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1 hour ago, Maj.Hans said:

 

That's part of a larger trend that I'm about to turn into a big long rant...

 

The truth is that modern society seems to stress "everyone is special!" beyond "everyone needs to fit in to society and be normal, because although your contribution is likely to be important, you'll probably never do anything noteworthy and just be another nobody a hundred years after you die"...Which is actually the truth...

 

If you look at modern first person shooter games, single player game-play is almost like an action movie that the viewer participates in.  The player is either a lone hero accomplishing incredible feat after incredible feat, or one member of a very small team accomplishing incredible feat after incredible feat...  Point is, the player is a hero.

 

There aren't many first person shooters where you play the role of the assistant gunner in an MG team, and your major contribution to the battle is to keep reloading the HMG while the gunner puts down suppressive fire on a building for a few minutes while a whole mob of dudes with rifles and grenades get up close and then pounce on the enemy, whom they massively out number...Noooooo!  Are there any games where you play the role of a field kitchen cook in the Soviet army, helping to defeat the Nazis by keeping your troops well fed with bowls of hot borscht and loaves of delicious bread?  HELL NO!

 

They're all about you being some super snake eater NAVY Seal Delta Force Airborne Ranger and eliminating an entire enemy division single handed, or maybe with your group of half a dozen super bad-asses!  You can't be the Super Action Tank Hero if you're part of a whole company attacking the enemy.  Then you have to share the glory!

I would agree with your assessment.

FPS have there place but it has nothing to do with reality there just fun.

The only other game I used to enjoy that was not armour based was ghost recon at least you had a team of guys.

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There are some FPS games that are being pushed as being "squad based" or "tactics based".  The truth is that they just aren't that popular.

 

Speaking from personal real world experience, you can dress in pants and a shirt, some nice boots, grab a rifle, put two or three spare magazines on a belt, and run around like crazy at a "three-gun" or "tactical rifle" match.  I've done that.  Everybody sprinted through the courses, had a great time.

 

 

I also put on a set of 1960's style jungle fatigues, an M1 steel helmet, LC1 web gear and suspenders carrying 8x20 round loaded magazines for my 20" M16A1, some dummy frag grenades, two canteens with a quart of water in each, an E-tool, bayonet, M1911 in a heavy leather holster with a pair of spare magazines, and a butt pack stuffed with a pair of modern MREs, cleaning kit, and a few T-shirts to bulk it up...

 

I wasn't even wearing a flack jacket because I couldn't get one in my size.  I was in that for just a few hours, and by the end of the day it sucked.  All that crap is heavy.  You move S-L-O-W....  You get tired quick.  Reloads are difficult because your spare magazine is held securely in a big canvas pouch meant to hold it while you hump up and down hills in a jungle, not just barely held on a belt by a little plastic cup...  After a few stages, I wanted to start asking the guy giving me the briefing, "Excuse me, but why do I have to charge in there and dart from cover to cover while I take on a dozen guys single handed like I'm the superhero man in 'Call-Of-Doom-Modern-Battlefield-Quake-Rainbow-Medal-Warrior-Ops' or whatever bulls**t the kids play today?  That seems like a great way to die tired, and I'm still panting from the last stage.  Can't I just go over there and lay down prone in the bushes and wait for my enemy to come to me?"

 

Oh and I finished like dead last because even though my accuracy was great, having do run it in all that equipment really made everything take forever.  20 instead of 30 round magazines didn't help either.

 

Very few people can cope with an FPS that places realistic limits on your character's stamina, maneuverability, accuracy or ability to fire at all while moving, etc and still find it "fun".  "Sorry, you can't actually hip-fire that MG3 with any degree of accuracy, nor can you shoot it while sprinting at full speed.  Go prone and put it on the bi-pod!"  In an environment like that, however, you really appreciate the value of different roles in an infantry formation, why you have machine gun teams, etc.

Edited by Maj.Hans

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Hah, I know what you mean man! Last week I was on my periodic military excercises, do in full gear and heavy autumn/winter clothes 7 combat starts and landings in a helicopter and then some tactics with firing and manouvere. In fact the latter was mostly just sitting in bushes behind a fire team with PKM's providing supressive fire. In fact most of infantry combat is rather static, and also it'smostly a blind fire in general direction where enemy is expected, especially in dense woods. In the open? Firing at enemy that is further than 400m is also a blind fire in general direction where enemy is expected to be.

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Damian, you touched on a few good points, again stuff that video games don't make you think about...

 

Winter clothing slows everything down.  So does moving in mud, snow, etc.

 

Infantry combat is also rather static because if anyone comes out in an open field, he is an easy obvious target.  So nobody wants to be "that guy".  Better to stay in the bushes, let your machine guns pour the lead on.  To be accurate, you pretty much need to be static, and preferably laying down or braced upon something rather than just standing.

 

In fact, this is why tanks were invented in the first place! :P

Infantry have a hard time attacking.

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I remember talking to a member of the parachute regiment back in the early ninety's he had served in the Falkland conflict.

 remember him telling me just how miserable and tired the paras were there equipment was heavy and wet they were all suffering from diarrhea due to they lack of clean water

cant remember all the details but I remember thinking WTF,

The thing is they had a very long forced march and there so called waterproof boots were not waterproof at all.

 A lot of guys had trench foot and they then fought a battle at the end of it.

seemingly only the royal marines had gear fit for purpose in that type of terrain.

I guess its all down to the fighting spirit and training. 

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This is why being a tank crew is the best job ever, you don't carry your weapon and gear, your weapon carry you and your gear. ;)

 

I am in Air Cavalry Reserve, heck the only time we have mobility is when we use our battalions helis or trucks, otherwise mobility on foot is a joke!

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There were no "tank simulators" before Steel Beasts, only games.

 

I played less than thirty minutes of Armored Fist then quit in frustration because it was not (realistic) what I was looking for.  Played a WWII based one, whose name escapes me, and quit that for the same reason.  

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51 minutes ago, TSe419E said:

There were no "tank simulators" before Steel Beasts, only games.

 

I played less than thirty minutes of Armored Fist then quit in frustration because it was not (realistic) what I was looking for.  Played a WWII based one, whose name escapes me, and quit that for the same reason.  

 

You are right about Armoured fist a truly terrible game

And I was dumb enough to buy it and spend money upgrading my PC to run it.

I don't totally agree there were none as high fidelity as SB true.

 But I believe the M1 series by micropose  certainly had simulation elements.

The fire control system was most certainly dumbed down and was not realistic.

but the game did give me a good appreciation for tactics as small as the maps were

I did learn from the game the manuals for both M1 games were superb for the time. IMO

Also I found a hack that let you  play any AFV in game.

That's where  and how I nurtured an interest in Soviet armour 

 

Edited by Marko

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1 hour ago, Marko said:

 

You are right about Armoured fist a truly terrible game

 

Are you kidding me? A single tank blasting through a company of enemy armored vehicles to destroy their base is the coolest thing ever! 

 

At least, it was when I was 9... 

 

 

Also, what other game has an enemy water tower in it?

Edited by Mirzayev

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Then I played pirated PC games since there was no means to get it legit then, nowhere available in the country

 

M1 Abrams <bought Pirated CD>

Steel Beasts <bought Pirated CD>

T-72 Balkans <bought Pirated CD>

Steel Fury <bought Pirated CD>

T-34 Vs Tiger <bought Pirated CD>

Steel Beasts Pro PE <legit>

War Thunder <free to play>

Steel Armor: Blaze of War <legit>

 

Edited by []_--__[]KITT

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Reading this thread I realized that I actually played way more tank games than I cared to remember. Worthy of mention however I find only:

 M1 Tank Platoon (the original). That team just nailed it, for 1988 hardware. Also, it still has the probably most beautiful user manual of them all. I try hard that our manual is at least more useful, but theirs is simply looking better, hands down.

Unsurprisingly iM1A2 was reasonably good, retaining half of the original Microprose crew. And I laud them for making use of that other mouse button. They cheated with the ballistics, you can aim left or right of the target by as much as, I think , one and a half mil, and still score a hit at maximum range. For a while I thought I was the God of Gunnery until I realized what they did. In my defense, I was a decent shot in our master gunner's (mini) course, so I thought it was at least possible. In the end however skepticism won over narcissism. And while high-level AI was largely scripted, they did a

M1TP2 I'd like to mention because it also assembled some figures of the original M1TP team, but as a simulation it was largely a failure as far as replicating the fire control system was concerned. The high level AI was quite decent, though.

 

The Armored Fist series, let's give them credit, brought network games and looong visibility ranges (though enemies popped up only at mid distance) with high frame rates. I still wonder how the world would look like if 3D accelerator functions were available for voxel engines that would allow for a (much) higher voxel resolution and some smoothing and shading between voxels. It might make certain other tasks a lot easier than triangle-based rendering.

As a simulation, they were terrible though.

 

One motivating factor for me with Steel Beasts was that up to that point neither the fire control system behaviors were done with any accuracy, by anyone, nor the commander's place felt to be the natural spot for the player to direct a crew. At best the AI grudgingly let you interfere, usually they just let you ride along and largely ignored you. The game developers simply seemed to have no idea how to make the commander's position useful and interesting. So, those were the two areas that we wanted to tackle initially. Once that was done my prime interest, often to the dismay of others in the team (particularly the artists, who I may have frustrated more than any other - sorry, guys!), was in the expansion of the tactical scope. Now that we have more programmers we can also spend some more effort on making things look better. It's still not all that the artists would like to have, but I think everybody in the team (and long-term customers of the Personal Edition) can see the value of tenaciously working on SB. Over time we simply accumulate an array of features, vehicles, and tactical depth that is probably impossible to match by a game developer with only two years from project start to the public launch finish line.

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22 hours ago, Marko said:

I would agree with your assessment.

FPS have there place but it has nothing to do with reality there just fun.

The only other game I used to enjoy that was not armour based was ghost recon at least you had a team of guys.

 

I also agree with Maj. Hans, but disagree with Marko...

 

It dose have to do with real life.  People have become more "individuals" in this era.  This tendency to speculate on everything they do or think about has left behind the team work and/or "one and for all".  For the benefit of human kind is left to a small majority, which sometimes feel misplaced.  Refugees fleeing from hot war area´s are left at sea (mediterranean) and goverments just don´t give a damn.  While they traffic with this issue before our eyes we still speculate on why?  The excess of living a comfortable life has made alot of people forget how it was before getting there.  To help and forgive, and justice for all.  Although who are we to justify?

 

Iam for one is not in favor of war´s, but the horror of war dose get people to stick together and work as a team for the most part.  We should not have to get to that extreme, but society has become more complex as it moves forward, in part due to individualisim and of course money!

 

Back to the original topic.  No tank sim for me at the time, imho there was no real sim to look at.  Wish Jane´s would have came up with something at the time.  I stuck with Jane´s Longbow which was my first real sim to say so at that time.

 

PD.: Played alot of Ghost Recon with the "Seawolves" at the time.

Edited by Red2112

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19 hours ago, Damian90 said:

I can only imagine more mobile infantry combat only in urban environment.

 

I am not a soldier, but the way I see it the problem is that getting back to a light enough load for a soldier to be able to move long distance on foot like they did back in WW2...Means going back to a WW2 load...  NO body armor, NO sleeping bag, simple food, etc.  That means a rough, hard, cold, wet, and uncomfortable life, and either foraging for food or going hungry.

 

In the modern era, where body armor is essentially mandatory, you need to strip down to a "fighting load" in order to be mobile...

Body armor, helmet, rifle, ammunition, and water.  That's it.

I can wear my set of body armor (ceramic front and back rifle plates, no fragmentation protection, no side protection) and still be reasonably mobile with a rifle, ammo, and a camel back.

 

 

The problem is that you just left all your food, sleeping bag, tent, etc somewhere else.........So if you have to retreat you might give it to the enemy, or if you attack and win, now you need to go back and get your stuff!

 

So while APCs like the M113, BTR-80, and other lightly armored and lightly armed vehicles might not seem that useful to us in Pro PE because we fight a battle that lasts a few hours at most, I can see how they're essentially necessary for modern infantry.

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M1 Tank Platoon on a 386-16 or a 486-33 (can't remember, "Computer Shopper" was your friend), played everything literally....sector copied 5 1/4 & 3.5 disc's from a mail order game rental place from somewhere in Texas when doing tax free contract-work overseas in the 90's. 

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1 hour ago, Maj.Hans said:

 

I am not a soldier, but the way I see it the problem is that getting back to a light enough load for a soldier to be able to move long distance on foot like they did back in WW2...Means going back to a WW2 load...  NO body armor, NO sleeping bag, simple food, etc.  That means a rough, hard, cold, wet, and uncomfortable life, and either foraging for food or going hungry.

 

In the modern era, where body armor is essentially mandatory, you need to strip down to a "fighting load" in order to be mobile...

Body armor, helmet, rifle, ammunition, and water.  That's it.

I can wear my set of body armor (ceramic front and back rifle plates, no fragmentation protection, no side protection) and still be reasonably mobile with a rifle, ammo, and a camel back.

 

 

The problem is that you just left all your food, sleeping bag, tent, etc somewhere else.........So if you have to retreat you might give it to the enemy, or if you attack and win, now you need to go back and get your stuff!

 

So while APCs like the M113, BTR-80, and other lightly armored and lightly armed vehicles might not seem that useful to us in Pro PE because we fight a battle that lasts a few hours at most, I can see how they're essentially necessary for modern infantry.

 

Oh I completely agree!

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One thing i learned from the original tank platoon

Never assault a hill from the front, always flank both sides the in original M1 the opfor used a reverse slop defence to great advantage.

for any of you wiper snappers out there this is what was considered state of the Art back in the late eighty's.

They may not have looked pretty but the AI was good. in saying that there was a limit of about 25 vehicles per mission.

Do any of you military guys no if the original M1 was used as a training tool by tankers back in the day obviously the fire control/gunnery was not accurate enough but would have made for a useful tool for trying out platoon sized tactics

 

 

 

m1-tank-platoon_6.png

m1-tank-platoon_5.png

m1-tank-platoon_6.png

m1-tank-platoon_5.png

m1-tank-platoon_6.png

m1-tank-platoon_5.png

Edited by Marko

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9 minutes ago, Ironside71 said:

 

Just think about it,

in thirty years time when gamers will be sitting in there holographic machines there be laughing at what we know consider cutting edge Graphics. LoL.

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